Nut butters have a mixed reputation. Ask some people, and they’ll tell you peanut, almond, cashew, and other nutty spreads are a good source of healthy fats, plus some protein and fiber. Ask others, and they’ll tell you they’re simply calorie bombs.
The truth is that nut and seed butters are healthy — as long as you check the ingredients lists and stay mindful of your portion size.
“Nut and seed butters shouldn’t contain anything but the nut or seed itself,” says Keri Gans, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet. And don’t be fooled by “organic” labels — even some of those brands add unnecessary oils and sugars. You want just nuts or seeds and maybe a dash of salt.
And no matter which butter you choose, make sure you get out your measuring spoon. “The calories add up,” Gans says. “A serving size [of nut and seed butter] is two tablespoons. So be honest: How much are you really using?” If you’re trying to be healthy when it comes to nut butters, portions play a huge role in how they affect your diet.
8 Healthy, Natural Nut and Seed Butters
Check out the nut butters below, all of which meet Gans’ guidelines. We’ve listed the nutrition facts for creamy varieties, but if you prefer chunky, go for it — the nutrition is the same. We even added some seed butters, which can be used just like nut butters and are a good alternative for people with nut allergies!
Crazy Richard’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
This brand is crazy good, and don’t worry, it doesn’t have any crazy ingredients in it — just peanuts! Some people might find it to be a bit oily, but that’s just a sign there aren’t any stabilizers or preservatives in it. To make the stirring easier, flip the jar upside down for a while, and then shake it up beforehand. If you like your PB on the thicker side, just store it in the fridge. Get it on Amazon.
Kirkland Signature Creamy Almond Butter
If you’re looking to try something other than peanut butter, almond butter is a nice alternative. It can be more expensive than peanut butter, but it’s usually cheaper than other nut butters. Organic roasted almonds are the only thing on the ingredient list of this Costco store brand, so give it a stir and add 7 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons to any meal. Find it in Costco stores or on Amazon.
Vör Pure Cashew Butter
Cashew butter can be pricey, but it you love the taste then it can definitely be worth the splurge. Just make sure you try a natural brand, like this spread that’s made strictly with roasted cashews. It doesn’t separate, spreads easily, and tastes like, well… pure cashews! Nutritionally, it has fewer calories (160) than other nut butters but less protein (4 grams) as well. Get it on Amazon.
Sunflower Seed Butter
SunButter Organic Sunflower Butter
Perfect for people with nut allergies, this yummy seed butter contains only organic roasted sunflower seeds and is processed in a facility free from top allergens. Not only does this sunflower butter taste great, per serving, it also provides 7 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and many vitamins and minerals (like 50 percent of your daily vitamin E and 70 percent of your daily copper!). Stir it up well as some oil may separate, and then enjoy. Get it on Amazon.
Artisana Organics Raw Tahini Sesame Seed Butter
OK, OK, technically this isn’t a nut butter since tahini is made with sesame seeds, but it is a spread that has many delicious uses! You can use it in place of your traditional nut butters, add it into dressings and smoothies, or use it to make hummus. This particular brand is made from only raw organic sesame seeds and has 8 grams of protein per serving. Get it on Amazon.
Nutiva Organic Coconut Manna
Coconut butter is another “not really a nut butter, but we’re going to call it a nut butter because it functions pretty much the same.” This variety is made from organic whole coconut puree, and is super smooth and rich. It’s kind of like eating a mashed coconut, which is a dream for coconut-lovers.
Try it in oatmeal, smoothies, and baked goods for a natural hint of sweetness, 18 grams of fat, and 4 grams of fiber per 2 tablespoons. And only 2 grams of sugar! Get it on Amazon.
Mixed Nut Butter
NUTTZO Organic Smooth Power Fuel Nut And Seed Butter
Can’t decide what kind of nut butter you want? You don’t have to with this mix! It’s loaded with cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, hazelnuts, and pumpkin seeds — that’s seven nuts and seeds! But luckily for people with peanut allergies, peanuts aren’t included. It’s paleo-friendly, too! And if you’re curious why the lid is on the bottom of the jar, it’s because it helps with stirring! Get it on Amazon.
Mixed Peanut Butter
Naturally Nutty Organic Natural Peanut Butter
If you’re looking for a little something extra in your peanut butter, this is it. Started by a mom looking for healthy peanut butter, Naturally Nutty adds flax, hemp, and chia seeds to its PB for added omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It’s super smooth and has just a hint of flavor from the seeds, but the peanut taste dominates. Get it on Amazon.